I was on a panel session for the Total Telecom Congress in London on Wednesday and thought i would share some observations gleaned from other speakers that are relevant to the media sector and it’s intersection with telecoms:

Something like 20-30% of all mobile data traffic is advertising! This is – i think -an astonishing statistic. It also makes me think that since consumers are paying for such a large volume of data they haven’t requested it would be perfectly reasonable for a mobile operator to offer a service where consumers did not pay for the data used up by ads.

However zero-rating advertising this way is something which is currently – in most cases – banned by (new) EU rules. I have blogged about how wrong-headed this is this many times eg here:

It seems to me that the issue of consumers paying for data they haven’t requested, and in fact regulators *requiring* mobile operators to charge for this non-requested data is likely to be especially acute in emerging markets where consumers are poorer and are likely to access the internet only through a mobile device.

Ironically India is itself a “leader” (if that is the right word) in preventing zero-rating by regulation. This also, i think, explains the fact that mobile ad-blocking technology is much more prevalent in emerging markets (see here)

So the issue of data used by mobile advertising seems to me a further reason to object to any regulation which in principle prevents the practice of zero-rating.